What Conflict of Interest?

The witch hunt aimed at Kansas Democratic Party Secretary, Casey Yingling, is focused on the accusation that her vote to support funding for James Thompson during the Special Election was a conflict of interest.

I have listened to the executive committee call that was shared by the author of the recall petition against Casey, Chair of the First District Democratic Caucus, Sage TeBeest. However, the tape does not tell the story that Ms. TeBeest wants it to tell. It is very clear to everyone that listens to the recording that there was a coordinated effort to interrupt a professional presentation by the Thompson campaign manager and Casey with their bait and switch attack routine.

The Thompson campaign manager spends the first part of the call outlining how the campaign designed the proposal submitted to the executive committee specifically to avoid any allegations of conflict of interest. The campaign would submit the final bill from the printer to the Kansas Democratic Party and the executive committee could review the invoice submitted from the printer to ensure that the KDP only paid for the printing and postage. There would be proof that no money went directly to the Thompson campaign or Ad Astra Group.

The Thompson campaign offered to reimburse the KDP for the mailing. Casey offered to add the money to her fundraising obligation as Secretary of the KDP. Both offers were rejected.

However, it is clear why consultant Ryon Carey, one of the most aggressive voices against Casey on the executive committee call, was playing this game:

Ryon Carey worked as a paid campaign manager for Dennis McKinney. Dennis McKinney lost the nomination to James Thompson.

So what does a conflict of interest mean to you, Ms. TeBeest?

Why didn't you express your concerns on the call?

Is it the person who is interested in a Democratic victory?

Or is it the person more interested in hurting a fellow Democrat out of spite and using the party to take down a perceived competitor?

The attack on Casey Yingling is unwarranted. She was a professional, despite being interrupted repeatedly by Tom Witt and Ryon Carey. She outlined on the call why this investment was good for the Kansas Democratic Party, not just for James Thompson.

Casey represented the Kansas Democratic Party on the executive committee call and acted within her role as Secretary, especially an executive committee member who calls CD4 home.

Casey was elected to ensure that all parts of the state have a voice in KDP leadership.

Ryon Carey, however, voted against a competitive Democratic candidate because he is a sore loser.

I am not a registered Democrat. Like many millennials, I am unaffiliated because both political parties ignore the people. When James Thompson became the KS-04 Special Election nominee, I considered becoming a Democrat for the first time. 

However, after this attack on James Thompson and our movement, I cannot call myself a Democrat yet.

I will not wear your label until I can proudly defend both Democratic candidates and the Kansas Democratic Party to the strong Republican voices I am surrounded by daily.

I am not alone. There are many like me who were inspired by James Thompson, but promptly disgusted by the behavior of Kansas Democratic Party leadership. 

I am hopeful that our attempts to reform the current corruption in the Kansas Democratic Party will result in a strong organization I, and others like me, will be proud to join.